100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Izakaya Seki
Scallop sashimi at Izakaya Seki. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Comments () | Published February 19, 2013
100 Best Restaurants 2014 100 Best Restaurants 2013

Izakaya Seki
Address: 1117 V St. NW, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-588-5841
Neighborhood: U Street/Shaw
Opening Hours: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 5:00 PM to 11:00 PM Tuesday: Closed Friday, Saturday: 5:00 PM to midnight
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Reservations: Not Needed
Best Dishes Yellowtail sashimi; octopus sashimi with yuzu sauce; mackerel sashimi; uni with egg yolk and shiso; grilled mero; broiled yellowtail jaw; chicken meatballs; grilled short ribs; shrimp fritters; chilled soba noodles; salad of burdock root, carrot, and chili.
Price Details: Salads $7 to $9, sashimi $5 to $18, small plates $7 to $18.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Good for Groups
Happy Hour Details:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 5 PM to 7 PM; discounts on select drafts, shochu, and small plates.
Happy Hour Days:
Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays

There’s no exact English equivalent for the word izakaya. It refers to a Japanese tavern that serves charcoal-grilled meats and simply sauced nibbles—pub grub, though often marked (as it is here) by a fanaticism for precision.

Hiroshi Seki presides over this minimalist rendition (daughter Cizuka, a former World Bank consultant, runs the dining room), and one of the draws is watching the master, who has spent half a century at the cutting board, ply his craft at the downstairs counter—reducing a scallop to five sheer slices in seconds, lancing the top of a quail egg with a flick of his knife.

There will be things you may never have eaten before (a giant scallop from Japan, innards intact) and things you’ve eaten but never with such excitement (marinated mackerel, revelatory in its sweetness). Wash them down with a bottle of sake from the city’s most extensive list. Don’t miss: Scallop carpaccio with yuzu-shiso sauce; uni with a quail egg; grilled mero (Chilean sea bass); beef tongue with yuzu-miso sauce; chicken meatballs; shrimp-and-vegetable tempura fritters; braised burdock and lotus; daily sashimi special. Open: Wednesday through Monday for dinner. Expensive.

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013
Subscribe to Washingtonian

Discuss this story

Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question. The Washingtonian reserves the right to remove or edit content once posted.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Posted at 09:00 AM/ET, 02/19/2013 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews